Putting The Fun Back Into Crowdfunding
This week, we won’t be providing you much of an update about how work is coming along on Astrobase Command (it is, we swear!) Rather, we want to take the opportunity to open a discussion with all of you on the state of crowdfunding and the democratization of game publishing. If you have been following the news recently, you will probably have heard of the controversy that has been in the gaming media surrounding abuses in crowdfunding. Most of you should have a stake in the issue, as you were probably lined up as our loyal Kickstarter backers, or found out about Astrobase during our exciting Greenlight campaign. It would not be unreasonable for you to wonder whether we are simply putting out a massive smoke show as we cackle our way to the bank.
The great power and opportunity offered by the democratization of game development thanks to platforms like Kicktarter and Steam (among others) also offers plenty of opportunities for abuse. It has generated a fair bit of discussion among us as to whether any measures should be taken to protect consumers against the possibility of exploitative ventures (or simply ones greatly overstating their capabilities) trying to dupe them of their hard earned cash.
Steam does have some measure of robustness built in at this level thanks to the scrutiny imposed by the greenlighting process. Clearly, some bad apples can still slip through the cracks. Should there be some measure of accountability to which developers should be held to ensure that they actually deliver on their promises? Does doing so begin a slippery slope of turning these wonderfully open systems into the monolithic giants of publishing that indies are striving so hard to avoid becoming? Will market pressures ensure that those who cannot deliver on their promises will be weeded out, at an unfortunate cost to the few early adopters?
We do not have an answer to these questions, but would like to hear what you think. Share your thoughts in the forum. Your ideas could help us chart our course as we continue to develop Astrobase Command.
On a cheerier note, there’s a whole bunch of designing going on, and we’ve got a a revamp in the works for the website. Stay tuned for more!